Former Coventry City, Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers defender Elliott Ward has announced his retirement.

Currently playing with non-league outfit Chelmsford City, Ward has brought his playing days to an end after a lengthy career.

The 36-year-old defender spent much of his career plying his trade in the Football League after breaking through West Ham’s youth academy. He went on to play 20 times for the Hammers’ senior before going on to enjoy a successful career in England’s top four divisions.

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Following his retirement, it will be interesting to see how his post-playing career pans out.

During the 2020/21 campaign, Ward continued to play for Chelmsford, playing 14 times. However, he also delved into coaching, helping guide the club’s academy players with their development.

City boss Robbie Simpson told the club’s official website that he believes the retired defender can go on to enjoy a successful career as a coach, using his wealth of experience to help other players.

After loan spells with Peterborough United, Bristol Rovers and Plymouth Argyle, Ward joined Coventry City permanently in 2006. He played 126 times for the Sky Blues, the most appearances he made for a single club.

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The Harrow-born ace left for Norwich City in 2010 and went on to spend three years with the Canaries. During his time at Carrow Road, Ward spent two separate stints on loan with Nottingham Forest, notching up 31 appearances.

He then went on to spend time on the books with AFC Bournemouth and Huddersfield Town before linking up with Blackburn Rovers in January 2016.

Ward featured 31 times at Ewood Park, suffering relegation in 2017. He then played for Notts County and Cambridge United before joining Chelmsford, where he has now retired.